With a side of….”no”

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I am continuing my quest to whip my kids into shape due to my laziness of parenting over several months.  YES I am owning responsibility for it.  I had been lazy about enforcing chores and responsibilities.  Bottom line the only excuse I have is I just would get frustrated and it was easier to do it myself.  So the past 5 weeks I have been on top of them and I haven’t made it easy for them either.

I had instituted a dreaded chore chart that I absolutely hate.  I don’t hate it because I don’t want them to do it.  I hate it because I am still reminding them to do what is asked, I truly feel they should do some of it without being paid, they seem not to really care, and let’s be honest it is additional work on parents.  But I have been changing it weekly and reminding them on a regular basis of what they have to do throughout the week.  Some weeks were better than others however they have only received an allowance 1 out of the 5 weeks and it was only a portion of their allowance.  PITIFUL!  But like I said I am not making this easy.  Expectations and standards are set high and they know it.

Our “How Full is Your Bucket” project~ let’s just say I think their buckets have holes in them!  We are on week 2 of empty buckets.  They each have earned 1 reward from it though.  But it seems ever since earning the 1st reward they wanted, they have checked out.

So what to do, what to do?

The past week, I have declined pretty much every request.  Can we go get ice cream…”no”.  Can I get some nail polish?  A pack of gum?  That would be “no”.  I have even (and this sounds horrible) been putting them in situations where they are going to want something just so I can say “no”.  I know….very cruel of me.  But it is working!  They asked me the other night why I have been saying “no” to everything and I simply said that even though they may not come out and say “no” to me, their actions are saying it each and every time they don’t complete a chore, argue about putting your clothes away, telling me “I’ll do it later”, etc.  And I have hit them where it hurts too….lost a couple afternoons of swimming as well as no technology (which is currently happening as I type this).

Is this really the correct way of handling this?  Is there a better way?  Should I not be so tough on them?  I am sure there are better ways and I am sure I am making it too hard.  But I want them to finally wake up and realize things what I have been teaching them since they were able to learn, everything is a privilege and they need to start appreciating what they have and me.

Parenting is such a tough job and so many times I have moments where I feel like I am screwing them up and they will grow up to hate me.  I have moments where I will lay in bed at night and cry and just want to give up.  It certainly would be a lot easier to just give in.  But I am their mom and it is my job to teach them.  If I don’t, I have failed them.  So as hard as this is, I need to take each day- OK each hour – as they come and breathe.  I need to keep on them and keep enforcing the dreaded chore chart.  I need to keep teaching them with a side of “no”.

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